Ampelography is one of the funniest sounding words in wine, a field that's full of potential puns and double entendres. It means simply, the study and identification of grapevines. And Lucie Morton is one of this country's leading ampelographers. But she's not just good at identifying grapevines - Morton identifies and wages war on grapevine pests and diseases. She is also a revered vineyard consultant here in the Eastern United States (though she also has clients in California and France).
Think "revered" is a bit strong for a vineyard consultant? Well, check out my column on Lucie in this week's Washington Post Food section. Two of her clients use religious imagery while speaking of her - one calls her "our Moses leading us from the wilderness" while the other describes his "Road to Damascus moment" when he tasted a wine from one of her clients and became a convert to the gospel of high-density planting. And don't miss my recommendations of wines produced by some of her local clients.